If you're looking for French macaron templates look no further! Here is my periodically updated list of free, printable macaron templates for many occasions, all in an easy-to-download and print pdf format.
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Why Use a Template
Back when I first learned to craft French macarons (I won't tell you how long ago), easily printable piping templates and baking mats with perfectly-sized circles printed right on the silicon didn't exist. The only way to create same-sized circles (forget shapes!) was to practice, practice, practice.
Needless to say, the widely available (but spendy) silicon macaron mats and printable templates take the guesswork out of an already elusive baking venture. Twenty-four perfect circles, coming right up.
I prefer to bake my macarons on parchment paper, so I use printable macaron templates as opposed to a silicon macaron mat with outlines. Silicon mats of any kind can harbor grease and lose their non-stick coating over time. But as I'm always writing, your kitchen, your rules.
How to Use
I hesitate to even write this to avoid insulting any of my lovely readers' collective intelligence. But here it goes.
To use any printable macaron template, simply place one or two side-by-side underneath your parchment paper on your baking pan(s). After you pipe your macs, remove the templates by holding one corner of the parchment paper taut, and sliding them gently out the other end.
And don't worry if you forget to remove the templates before baking! If you're baking at high temperatures, you may run into a bit of a smoke issue sending an inky printout into the oven. But with the gentle, low heat we use for French macarons, your templates will not compromise your macs in any way. And definitely shouldn't start a fire. At least, mine hasn't yet!
One particularly useless piece of advice out there is unfortunately on a very popular baking site. And it suggests you buy an egg separator (through an Amazon affiliate link, of course).
Please don't ever waste your hard-earned money on an egg separator if you have two working hands. I'll truly never be able to unread this particular ridiculous suggestion.
Here are templates for the most popular and classically-shaped macarons. The 1.5" and 2" templates are also the best size macarons for refining your piping skills. Once you can pipe round macarons with your eyes closed, you'll be ready to move on to more involved and intricate macaron shapes.
If you're new to crafting French macarons, I'd start with this template. It will give you not-too-big and not-too-small shells. That means they'll have enough surface area to achieve the coveted crispy shell, frilly pied, and chewy interior, but in an approachable size.
If you are just beginning your macaron journey, this article with a basic French macaron recipe and troubleshooting is a great place to learn the basics. It'll spare you sifting through all the bad advice out there.
This template will give you French macarons that are either 1.75" or 2", depending on when you swish and flick your pastry bag. Macaron batter of the correct consistency spreads slightly, settling after you pipe it. So taking your batter to the outer edge of the printed circles will give you about two-inch macarons.
I tend to pull out the 2-inch template when baking lemon macarons. If only because it allows more room for lemon curd in the finished pastries, of which I have an obsession.
Once you master classic round shells, it can be fun to move on to creating cute seasonal and holiday shapes. And while I don't condone using toothpicks to correct inconsistencies after piping round French macarons, they definitely come in handy when creating shaped shells!
One of the most popular shapes for designer macarons! This template gives you heart macarons that are similar in size to a one-and-a-half-inch round macaron.
How to Pipe Heart Macarons
I've found the easiest way to pipe heart-shaped macarons is to pipe them in two steps, by mentally splitting the hearts in half vertically.
Hold the piping bag over one of the "X"s at the top of the heart. Pipe in a downward motion toward the heart's point. Let up on the pressure as you move toward the point of the heart and flick away the pastry bag.
Repeat with the second side, curving the pastry bag slightly toward the existing batter at the point. If necessary, use a toothpick to ever so gently distribute the batter in the middle of the heart. I also use the very tip of my thumbnail to clean up any renegade batter.
Egg-shaped French macarons are perhaps the easiest shape to create! Baking the shells in a variety of colors is a fun way to usher in Spring, celebrate Easter, or both. I love using this template and my chocolate macaron recipe for creating Cadbury Creme Egg macarons at Easter.
How to Pipe Egg-Shaped Macarons
I find myself piping egg (or oval) macarons using two different motions, and you may find one works better for you than the other.
Technique 1. Begin holding the piping bag over the center of the widest part of the egg outline. Pipe the batter until it begins to reach the inside edge of the black, then as you continue squeezing the batter, take your piping bag toward the top of the egg. Lighten up, then stop the pressure as you approach the top of the egg, flicking away the pastry tip quickly.
Technique 2. Reverse! Begin piping in the center of the narrow/top end of the egg, and move downward as you reach the inside edges of the black outline. Stop pressure at the bottom of the egg as the batter approaches the inside edges, and flick the pastry tip away.
If you partake in the frivolity of St. Paddy's Day and love French macarons, this template is for you. Fair warning, there is a definite learning curve for a shape this intricate. Here's an easy Bailey's Irish Cream coffee buttercream for filling your bright green shells.
My best advice is to go slow and cut yourself some slack. Perhaps, even keep a bit of Guinness or Bailey's Irish Cream handy (for the filling, of course, wink, wink). I snuck a couple of lucky, four-leaf clovers in the template if you dare!
How to Pipe Shamrock Macarons
Piping shamrock macarons will come down to a bit of personal trial and error. But here is how I proceed.
Step 1. Begin piping the leaves of the shamrock, starting in the widest part and moving your pastry bag toward the middle of the shamrock outline. Use a toothpick to adjust your batter, and the edge of a paper towel (or your fingernail) to scrape away batter that went astray.
Step 2. To create the stem, place your pastry tip over the center of the outline and squeeze a small amount of batter using a slightly downward motion. Use a toothpick to clean up and scrape away any excess batter. Less is more with the stems, a thin line of batter coming down the bottom of the leaves can go a long way.
The quintessential fall season macaron! And the perfect vehicle for a pumpkin and cream cheese buttercream or mascarpone filling. The stems take a little practice, so give yourself grace as you pipe. The template has half of the stems curving right and half to the left for easy sandwiching when you fill them.
How to Pipe Pumpkin Macarons
I like to start on the left side of the pumpkin outline and move the bag slowly to the right as I squeeze (I'm righthanded). Moving the pastry bag ever-so-slightly up and down as you pipe across helps distribute the batter inside the lines. Don't be afraid to use toothpicks or the edge of your fingernail to clean up any misbehaving batter.
When the weather cools and fallen leaves blanket the ground, you can decorate your plate with beautifully-hued leaf macarons. If you're just beginning to branch out and create shapes, skip the stem. You'll still get teeny, tiny leaf macarons that taste just as scrumptious filled with maple syrup buttercream.
How to Pipe Leaf Macarons
For more control when you're piping intricate shapes like leaves, use a round pastry tip with a smaller opening. You can ignore the lines in the center of the leaf outline. But they are a nice visual guide if you want to paint detail on the macarons after baking them.
- I like to first pipe a thick line from the top tip of the leaf down to the bottom of the stem.
- Then I go back and pipe thinner lines starting at each outer leaf tip and moving diagonally toward the center.
- Last, fill in any empty space inside the outline with batter and use a toothpick (and tapping) to clean up errors and smooth them out.
Cute, easy-to-pipe, spoooooky ghost macarons are a fun Halloween baking project. You can attempt to create the little waves at the bottom of each ghost. Or keep it simple and pipe straight across the bottom. This is especially fun with kids. Since the shape isn't too intricate, their chances of success aren't bad. And little ones have fun painting faces on their finished ghosts with food coloring.
How to Pipe Ghost Macarons
Much like with Easter egg macarons, I recommend starting at the top of the ghost outline and piping down to the bottom. As you work your way down the ghost shape, you can push the batter to the edges of the outline with tiny left and right motions of your tip. For an easier time piping ghost macarons, ignore the wavy bottoms. And just pipe a straight line of batter across the bottom of the ghost from corner to corner.
To create spooky faces on baked and cooled ghost macarons, thin out black gel food coloring with a few drops of vodka or alcohol-based baking extract. Then you can dip a small paintbrush in the color, and paint on the eyes and mouth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many great recipes can be found for French macarons, no one is better than another. The key to success in baking these delicate almond pastries is to master two techniques: meringue and macaronage (what the French call mixing macaron batter). If you don't first learn what to look for with each technique, it won't matter what recipe you choose.
Why yes, they are! French macaron shells are naturally gluten-free, and there are plenty of ways to whip up gluten-free fillings like chocolate ganache and buttercream. I teach a class on French macarons, and it's a favorite among bakers who can't eat or avoid gluten.
The best way to decorate or paint French macarons after baking is to thin gel food coloring with a few drops of vodka or alcohol-based baking extract. The alcohol encourages quick-drying, so it doesn't harm the shells. You can even splatter piped macaron batter with food coloring thinned this way. It's how the pastry chefs at Bouchon (where I once worked) create the popular speckled French macarons in the springtime.
Don't forget to bookmark this page to stay up-to-date with new templates! And look here for all my French macaron recipes. Always more to come...
Yours in the mac madness,
French Macaron Recipes
- How to Make French Macarons, Seriously
- Strawberry French Macarons Recipe & Two Fillings
- Why Every French Macaron Recipe is Really the Same
- How not to make macarons, part deux: myths busted
- The best method for macarons bursting with lemon flavor
- Raspberry French Macaron Recipe & Classic Fillings
- Chocolate Macarons Recipe & Two Tempting Fillings
- Heavenly Vanilla Bean French Macarons